Post original published on Brain Fud.
what’s inside mine.
The contents of my fridge don’t just reflect me but the rest
of my family so it can appear to be a bit of an odd mix.
I’m vegetarian and so are my children, hubby is a meat eater
but not in the house. I’m coeliac but everyone else eats a normal diet. I’m
also just starting to eat dairy after being lactose intolerant for years, now I
am recovering from the damage done by coeliac disease.
flavour. You will always find pesto (vegetarian and gluten free) in my fridge,
along with mustard, (wholegrain and Dejon). I love to throw sundried tomatoes
into salads and love the kick you get from ginger in baking and stir fries. I
am also loving eating natural yoghurt and sour cream again after being dairy
where I tend to store veg that can’t fit in salad drawers, such as my leeks and
rhubarb. It’s also where you’ll find fresh coffee, which my hubby loves but I
can’t stand. I am a tea girl all the way. My kids love fromage fraise and my
hubby loves jelly in his lunchbox! We also have to buy free range eggs in the
jumbo packs as we get through 15 in a week.
lots of butter, that’s because I have to keep mine separate to avoid crumbs. I
have been known to have a melt down over someone using my butter!
door as it’s not the coolest part of the fridge, but I have no idea where else
we could store it. The fridge is always packed so in the door it will have to
stay. The boys drink a lot of milk and we get through roughly twelve pints a
week. Although I’m starting to eat dairy again, I still prefer the taste of
soya or almond milk in my smoothies and on my granola. I also love to use maple
syrup as a sweetener and often have at least two strength grades in the fridge.
I try and eat as seasonal as possible, but the kids often dictate. That’s why
you’ll always find tomatoes and grapes in the fridge no matter what the time of
year. This week I’ve also bought baby corn, asparagus which has just come into
season, broccoli, kale, red cabbage, spring onions and French beans. So the
menu this week is full of risotto, stir-fry and soup.
Is your fridge very different to mine?
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Since having kids I’ve been plagued by a bad back. I have put it down to having SPD in my pregnancies, carrying my kids around for far too long. I still carry the four year old sometimes! Staying in one position either sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Whatever the reason and to be fair its probably a combination of all of those things. Sometimes my back can have me looking like an old lady and that really shouldn’t be the case at thirty seven. I am not one for reaching for the painkillers so up until now I had often been seen with a hot water bottle shoved down the back of my jumper.
They just stick to your clothing and start to warm up by themselves. It’s just as good at relieving the ache as the hot water bottle was but without the bulk. It claims to provide 12 hours of heat so far I’ve had my first one on for about four hours and it’s still giving me a warming glow at the base of my back.
I was sent these Hotteeze heat pads for free in exchange for my honest review. You can read more in my advertising and disclosure policy.
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Festival ready is a phrase I’ve been hearing a lot recently. I even heard it was I walked in the playground the other morning. But what does it mean? Well to the dad who used the phrase it seemed to be that his kid was wearing a hat and sunglasses. For me I think it requires a little more thought. Your festival look should revolve around two major things. Which festival your attending and what the forecast is going to be.
Festival season has now officially begun and so far we have had really good weather, so fingers crossed that lasts for the whole summer. I’m planning on attending Lakefest which is on a smaller scale and is very family friendly. So this will be my look for Lakefest.
So from top to bottom I am wearing, crop top by Enchanted Rebels
Shorts by butterfly by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams.
Sandals by Dorothy Perkins
Plus a whole load of bangles that I’ve had for donkeys years.
I am loving the woodblock style print and pinks and blues print on my top from Enchanted Rebels it’s made from 100% cotton so will keep me cool and I love the great fit. Plus £1.00 from every garment in their organic collection is donated to lend with care, a fund used to help budding entrepreneurs in developing countries.
It goes so well with my new shorts from Matthew Williamson. I love the tassel ties at the front and the sliver diamond mirrors down the sides. If you want to add the tasselled look to your shots take a look at my tassel tutorial.
Finally these sandals have got to be my favourite summer item. Hubby got them for me and I just the the pop of colour they bring to any outfit. I know they have heels but they are chunky and Lakefest is small. I’m planning on spending most of my time hanging out at the kids field watching the boys get crafty.
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So much to explore it’s worth allowing the whole day if you can. It’s a great place for imaginary play and hide and seek.
There are also lots of great spots for picnics, our favourites are near the play area where we can watch the boys while we have a rest. I don’t know how they keep on going! There is a visitor centre where you can buy teas and cakes, but we like to do our days out on a budget and bringing a picnic really keeps the cost down for a family of four. Plus you get so much more space and you are guaranteed that everyone find something their can eat!
My final recommendation for having great day a Whitley court would be to take the Lakeside walk if your children are a bit older. Mine are four and eight and stop and visit the ducks. They are so friendly and the boys loved feeding them their crusts from our picnic lunch.
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A Blogging good time
Review post for LA Tanning*
I have to admit I love a tan. I have two looks that my colouring suits. Pale and majestically looking Irish through out the winter months and much more Mediterranean through the summer. In my teenage years I would think nothing of lying out in the gardens baking myself to get the med look. Now I know better and prefer to save my skin and what’s left of my youth and fake it.
I have only ever had one experience with fake tan, up till now and that was when I was probably about 19 and bought the cheapest bottle and could find. Slathering myself in it and waking up the next morning to find myself streaky orange from head to foot. Needless to say I didn’t bare my skin for a week and vowed never to touch the stuff again. Since then I’ve only ever used gradual tan and had relatively little problems with it.
However summer is here and I can’t wait days for my tan to appear, I want it now! So I was so pleased when LA Tanning asked me to review their new tanning mousse.
I will admit I was a little nervous. I read and re-read the instructions and followed everyone to the letter. I loved the exfoliating sower gel with its great scent of lemongrass and it left my skin feeling lovely and soft even my terrible mum knees!
The mousse came out darker than I was expecting and I tentatively started working from head to foot trying to get even coverage. The tanning mitt really helped spread it evenly and also ensured I didn’t get tanned palms! Waiting for five minutes for it to set was probably the worst bit.
When I showered it off, I was so pleased with the result. A lovely light golden tan with no streaks. My only mistake was not getting hubby to do my back and I had one small triangle where I just couldn’t reach that had been missed. But these days I rarely wear anything backless so I’m not worrying.
What do you think.
Here is the before pic
Here is the after photo. I wore the same dress so you could compare. I love my new colour and feel ready for summer.
Thanks to the Royal Three Counties for the tickets.
I think it would be fair to call myself a country girl. Having grown up and living in Herefordshire for nearly all my life. So deep within my heart is a love for all things rural. When I’ve been away I have missed the smells and the sights of the lush green countryside. For most of my childhood there was one rural event that was clearly marked on my calendar as marking the beginning of summer and that was the Royal Three Counties show.
A lot has changed since we visited the Royal Three Counties as children. The most significant being that it is now on a weekend rather than mid week. When I was at school, so many children attended the show that the school used to shut for the three days! You’d never have that happen now. There is also a lot more shopping stand than before. However the main attractions for us remain. Tractors, Food and animals!
The farm machinery was a hit with both the boys and we literally had to prise the youngest away from some of them. That night he said he wanted a tractor for Christmas ‘not a toy, a real one with keys please’. I’m not sure Santa will be able to fit that in his sack.
Is the royal three counties worth a visit?
This is a review post for Craft Yourself Silly*
Are you in need of some ideas to keep the kids occupied though the summer holidays? My youngest who is four is still quite easily amused, give him the paddling pool and he’ll stay in it all summer given the chance. My eldest who is eight is quite different and once the allotted half and hour of screen time is up, I can often hear his lament of boredom echoing around the house.
So when we were asked to try out these new Buttoon-ies craft kits made by Craft Yourself Silly I thought they would be perfect for my eldest. He loves lego and small world imgenary play and these little characters would be perfect for that.
So we sat down together one afternoon, whilst the youngest was busy watering the garden. (Another one of his favourite summer activities). I must admit I’m glad I did sit with him and not just give him the packs as they are quite tricky to make, even for skilled lego building hands such as his.
If your child has had no experience threading before I would recommend that they have ago trying that skill first as they might find it very frustrating watching the thread bend away from the button hole as my eldest did.
He nearly gave up all together but with some help and a division of the jobs, he read the instructions, sorted the buttons into size order and directed me whilst I did the threading. We soon had our first little character created. Both kids love this little chap and he has since been involved in some great adventures.
So what if he didn’t make it all by himself, I much prefer something we can do together and his sense of achievement in the task was not diminished. He’s looking forward to building some more with me soon. I just need to get some pot plants for the youngest to water!
I was asked to review these Buttoon-ies in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy.
I’ve being hearing a lot recently on twitter about how engagement is really low on Instagram and lots of people are struggling to keep or gain new followers. At the moment I can’t agree. I have been working really hard to grow my following and I think it’s down to me upping my game with my hashtag use.
I’ve been setting myself Instagram goals in my monthly stats roundups and this month I set myself the task of getting to 1000 followers. Not a big ask, some of you may think but until recently I had really struggled to gain any new followers.
Since I started noting my stats my followers have grown from
781 followers in March
803 followers in April
977 followers in May
and I’ve already smashed my target for June by hitting 1041 when I checked this morning. That’s a gain of 260 new followers in three months.
You may not be all about the numbers game but for me, with wanting to make more income from my blogging you do have to try and increase your followers.
So that’s when I started to focus on my hashtag use. I have three main areas that I cover on my blog and in my Instagram feed. Crafts, Lifestyle and Parenting. So I thought it would be helpful to break it down into three posts with a stronger focus on each of these three areas.
In my 100 hashtags for creative bloggers I have covered, general crafts, art and design, sewing, fabric design and paper crafts. These are my main interests in the creative world and should hopefully offer you some new hashtag choices. Obviously the more niche your creative pursuits are there will be a whole host of hashtags just for them but the general crafts ones should be helpful to all creative bloggers.
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Stay Classy Mama
Summer time is smoothie time for me and the kids. I am a smoothie fan all year round, but can find it hard to tempt the kids with any of the green smoothies I like for a boost in the colder months. However as soon as the abundance of summer fruit starts to arrive they love to start their day with one.
Pink banana smoothie is currently one of our favourites. Creamy, beautifully pink so the youngest loves it and like a glass full of summer energy a great way to begin the day.
To make the Pink Banana Smoothie you will need:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 8 Strawberries at room temperature for maximum flavour
- 150ml chilled apple juice.
- Wash and hull the strawberries.
- Add them to the smoothie maker jug.
- Peel and slice the bananas and add to the jug.
- Measure the apple juice and add.
- Blitz for a couple of minutes until thick, pink and creamy.
- Serve straight away.
For really hot days try using frozen strawberries to keep the smoothie really cold and add a tablespoon of maple syrup to increase the sweetness.
Or for an extra hearty smoothie, when you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast. Add a handful of gluten free porridge oats for slow release energy throughout the morning.
Have you got a good smoothie recipe? Please share them below.